Weight gain

Questions I've received about buprenorphine, Suboxone, Zubsolv, and addiction treatments... and my answers.
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Rocks1221
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Weight gain

Post by Rocks1221 »

In the last 2months, I have tapered my daily subutex dose from 4mg to 1.5mg. I've started gaining weight even tho I excercise daily and eat relativly healthy. Is this normal for someone tapering off subutex? I am terrified of gaining weight.
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jennjenn
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Re: Weight gain

Post by jennjenn »

I haven’t ever heard of this before and I wouldn’t think it’s any kind of side effect, maybe more of a lifestyle thing and where you’re dosing less..... shoot that makes no sense does it lol? Either way I don’t necessarily think it’s because of the medication but I guarantee somewhere out there this has happened to another person. Hopefully others will chime in, sorry I wasn’t any help but I didn’t want ya thinking no one was reading you post :)
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suboxdoc
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Re: Weight gain

Post by suboxdoc »

I agree with jenn. If anything I would expect people to lose weight during a taper, because loss of appetite is such a big feature of opioid withdrawal.

Is there a possibility that you're using food or sweets to 'comfort eat' - sort of like a cross-addiction? Some people tend to eat more during stress. The most commonly known example of that would be the weight gain that some people have when quitting smoking. Or as jenn suggested, maybe you have less energy, and you're not getting the exercise you used to get?

Most opioids don't have an impact on weight, with the exception being methadone - which clearly leads to weight gain in SOME people. Working with methadone I'll see some patients - usually patients who tend to struggle with weight in general - gain a LOT of weight while on methadone. The people who are always skinny, on the other hand, seem to stay skinny on methadone.

I'm sure science will eventually understand why people vary in the amount of weight they gain or lose in those and other situations. For now, though, we're stuck with diet and exercise - or altering the balance of carbohydrates and protein, which has profound effects in some people.
BlueLight
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Re: Weight gain

Post by BlueLight »

I know a lot of addicts who either taper off of opioids or in a temporary dry spell get intense sugar cravings. If you feel like you’re not eating more, have you switched to eating more sweets, cakes, candies, chocolate, etc...?

Also, it makes sense to me that you may gain weight for a period of time when ceasing opioids, as your brain desperately wants a dopamine boost. If you’re not getting it from your drugs, then the brain will make due with food to soothe itself.

It’s a well proven fact that our opiate use and sugar intake are closely connected. This is also a main reason we have teeth problems as opiate addicts / recovering addicts.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3109725/
Rocks1221
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Re: Weight gain

Post by Rocks1221 »

Hopefully its just due to extra food that is around during the holidays. And that its hard to be outside and active when its cold outside. I will keep tapering and eating healthy and continue excercise bc it does help feel better. Thanks
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Re: Weight gain

Post by chummy »

I gained 25 pounds during my time on bupe. I never had a weight problem in my entire life prior to that. It was due to sugar I think. I've lost 10 of it since.
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suboxdoc
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Re: Weight gain

Post by suboxdoc »

I can't speak to your experience, chummy. I see that with methadone, but I almost never hear that complaint in my 250 buprenorphine patients.

From the article linked above:
Opiate antagonists, like naltrexone, are not associated with such weight gain and glycemic dysregulation. Further research may determine that opiate antagonist maintenance treatment may be preferable in opiate-dependent patients at risk for weight gain and diabetes. Methadone-maintained patients are especially susceptible to weight gain and diabetes, and have poor follow-up with primary care treatment, thereby making them an especially vulnerable population. While some evidence exists that buprenorphine behaves like naltrexone, with respect to the above syndromes, further research is indicated.
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zackyums
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Re: Weight gain

Post by zackyums »

It probably does not inhibit weight loss, but affects hormones or metabolism. You may have started to lose weight and lost most of your water and fat in the first 2-4 weeks. Weight is known to be much harder to lose after 4-6 weeks. I don't think it helped you, just less excess weight left, medical weight loss Bethlehem PA told me in this. So I knew that after the drastic weight loss I would get to the point where the weight stopped. I need to take a break and keep changing my diet so my body doesn't get used to the stress (diet is stress) and think there is enough fat and carbs.
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simontie
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Re: Weight gain

Post by simontie »

The people who are always skinny, on the other hand, seem to stay skinny on methadone.
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tommywash
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Re: Weight gain

Post by tommywash »

Because not everything works for everyone, any trendy diet will inevitably spark debate. I don't believe in any notions that single out one food or food group as the source of all evil since they are simply wrong. It used to be fat, but now it's carbohydrates. According to teaching resources, there is no quick fix for reducing weight; it takes patience, commitment, and figuring out what works for you. Anyone who claims otherwise is likely trying to sell you something. Another key factor to consider is sustainability. You should view this as a lifestyle change rather than a diet.
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suboxdoc
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Re: Weight gain

Post by suboxdoc »

A couple people sticking advertising links in here, but I guess that's OK...

Simontie, that is an interesting comment. I worked in the methadone industry for 6 yrs and saw many people blow up to such an extent that I hardly recognized them when they saw me six months later. Most of the people, and it seemed women in particular, gained a lot of weight on methadone. But there were some skinny patients that never gained a pound. I always wondered why... and I still don't know.
Hayden45
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Re: Weight gain

Post by Hayden45 »

Hello,

I have been on methadone for some time and frankly, I have not noticed any significant weight gain. Maybe some people react differently to methadone use.
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